3.1 million inhabitants occupy Hillsborough and Pinellas County’s metropolitan area, with predicted growth of 3.1%. Tampa is the ninth fastest-growing municipality in America, meaning plenty of roads, walkways, and of course, cycling accidents. Bicycle safety in the Tampa Bay area is of growing concern as cycling accidents increase.
Hunter Law is committed to providing the highest quality representation in Hillsborough and Pinellas County. A veteran team of Attorneys works vigorously, ensuring you are justly compensated for injuries stemming from a cycling accident.
Grassroot organizations banded together, creating various cycling advocacy right groups, promoting safer roads. In confirmation of city efforts, the League of American Bicyclists designated Tampa as a Bronze Level Community.
Unfortunately, the significant influx of new cyclists in recent years, has yielded the highest casualty rate since 1990. California, Florida, and Texas account for a staggering 41% of all cycling accidents and fatalities. However, these three states make up only 27% of the overall population in America.
Outside Magazine launched a study interpreting the burgeoning trend of cycling deaths on American roads. Recent traffic accident numbers were slashed by Covid-19; however, cycling deaths continue to increase each year. Results of the study are shocking!
Why So Many Cycling Accidents? Here are a few troubling statistics.
- Fatal crashes investigated from 2015 to 2019: 9% involved speeding drivers, 16% involved a drunk driver, and 20% were hit and run.
- Americans are driving faster. When the national maximum speed limit was altered in 1995, cycling deaths and accidents continued to ratchet higher.
- Americans are on their phones while driving more than ever before. 25% of adults admit to texting or talking on their phones. 92% were preoccupied using a safe driving app.
- Cars and trucks are getting bigger; in 1994, 40% of new vehicles were SUVs and Trucks, 2019 the number ballooned to 72%.
- If an SUV or truck hits a cyclist, the chances of them dying increase by 50%.
Florida Cycling Laws
Cyclists must abide by laws that protect their rights on the highway. However, in all circumstances, cyclists must apply common sense.
- Florida’s statutes of limitation vary from two to four years; the clock starts ticking at the date of your accident or the discovery of a wrong.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact a Hunter Law Personal Injury Attorney at once.
Cyclists must understand Florida’s laws and support safe cycling
- Under Florida Law, a bicycle is defined as a vehicle propelled by a human. The person in control has all the rights and obligations applicable to the operator like any other vehicle. In other words, bicycles are not granted immunity from the rules of the road.
Avoidable errors produce most bicycle accidents. In 70% of cycling accidents reported to Florida police, a cyclist violated the law. Like any other vehicle, cyclists must stop at all stop signs, red lights, and yield the right of way at intersections.
Common Sense Bicycle Operation
- Cyclists must travel with the flow of traffic, NOT AGAINST IT!
- Wear a helmet and keep your bike in good working order. Florida law requires anyone operating or riding a cycle under the age of 16, must wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Every bicycle must be equipped with working brakes to help ensure bicycle safety.
- Every bicycle used between sundown and sunrise should be equipped with front and rear lamps. Lamps should be visible at 500 feet to the front and 600 feet to the rear.
Consider this: ¾ of a second is the average reaction time for a motorist. In that time, vehicles travel 11 feet for every 10 mph. Depending on traffic, cyclists should implement a vehicle-following rule of five, seven, or ten seconds to maximize safety.
- Any cyclist on a sidewalk or crosswalk has the added burden and obligations of pedestrians.
Here are a couple of essential regulations you need to know.
- Negligence Equals Fault; a breach in the standard of care that any reasonable person takes to avoid harm. To determine fault, one must show the other failed to act reasonably.
- Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning both parties could be blamed for the accident. Under pure comparative negligence, to receive compensation, there is no threshold for the plaintiff to meet. Compensation to a plaintiff is reduced by their own percentage of fault.
If you have questions, call Hunter Law at (813) 287-2227 and talk with a Personal Injury Attorney. Protect Your Rights. We know the players and how to make the system work in your favor. Cyclists have the legal right to be on Florida roads, not just the sidewalks. Florida motorists have a legal obligation to look out for cyclists.
Share the Road
- Most Florida residents have heard the term “Share the Road.” However, do you appreciate what it means? According to state law, motorists must pass at a safe distance of not less than three feet between the vehicle and bicycle.
Decals on police vehicles, informational programs, and support messaging have improved behavior among drivers and cyclists. Laws like Share the Road are necessary safety considerations for people who commute to work and cycle to their next class.
Hunter Law wants to safeguard neighbors and the growing number of cyclists on Tampa roadways. If you require the Best Personal Injury Attorney in Florida, call us forthwith.
Tampa Cycling and Bicycle Safety
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 25, 2018, the most dangerous place to ride a bike in America was Pinellas County, including the Metropolis of Tampa. According to the Tampa Bay Times, eleven intersections were considered hazardous for cyclists.
In 2021, Tampa has become a cycling mecca. Hunter Law and other community leaders continue to make a difference. Pedestrian and cycling groups are proliferating. The new urban environment has spawned multiple downtown corridors for cyclists to enjoy the city with limited vehicle interference. Gorgeous bike trails are situated throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.
Cycling is a comfortable fit into practically every age group’s daily life, with cyclists riding to Tampa shops, parks, and even work. Knowing and practicing bicycle safety in the Tampa Bay communities can make it a safer place for cycling.
Civic Coalitions, state and local agencies, businesses of all types, and firms like Hunter Law have made Tampa a safer and viable area for cyclists. Everyone recognizes the importance cycling plays in the community.
If you and your family are new to the neighborhood, join one of the many cycle clubs. Even if you are an accomplished cyclist, join a club, get to know future friends, safe roads, learn a refreshing approach to cycling in Tampa.
Cycle shops are essential segments of Tampa’s biking culture. Find your ideal road, mountain, or electric bike at one of the area’s quality sellers. Apparel, shoes, and add-ons contribute to the adventure. Repair and fitting are value-added benefits.
People for Bikes created one of the best and most complete iPhone and Android apps to locate safe bike paths across the state. In 1999, People for Bikes was established as a voice for cycling advocacy in Washington, DC.
Bike/Walk Tampa Bay is a significant regional resource for all things cycling and pedestrian. The site highlights local events and area activities for cyclists. BWTB reports on companies promoting cycling to and from work.
BWTB continues to build cycling partnerships with law enforcement and Bicycle Friendly Businesses.
Tampa’s current mayor, Jane Castor, served as one of Bike/Walk Tampa Bay’s founding chairs. The relationship embodies the growing relevance cycling has on the community. The BWTB advisory board comprises diverse and passionate members who want to make Tampa a safer cycling community.
Education has been the dominant weapon used to energize and inspire bicycle safety in the Tampa Bay region.
As a victim of a cycling accident, you have no stronger ally than Hunter Law and its exemplary team of Personal Injury Attorneys
Call (813) 287-2227